Abstract: We investigated the parental changes and challenges that anticipated and followed the communication of the diagnosis of autism. The methodology was a collaborative and participatory case study focused on the perceptions of 31 families with a child on the autism spectrum enrolled in a no-profit Association in the Province of Monza and Brianza (Italy). The aim of the research was collecting information for the establishment of a local permanent observatory, monitoring the needs of families with children with autism, and identifying possible operational proposals to implement the quality of the territorial services, through the enhancement of the experiences, perceptions and representations of families, analysing their points of view. Methods included semistructured interviews and questionnaires; the data were analysed through the interpretative phenomenological analysis method. The findings show that parents need to be supported in order to avoid crisis and confusion on the child’s future perspectives, as consequence of the diagnosis of autism. The paper draws out implications for further studies that wish to analyse other family perspectives.
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Autore: Paola Molteni; Silvia Maggiolini